Ramadan is divided into three parts of ten days each, known as "Ashra". The first ten days of Ramadan are referred to as the "Ten Days of Mercy" (Rahmah), the second ten days are known as the "Ten Days of Forgiveness" (Maghfirah), and the last ten days are called the "Ten Days of Salvation" (Nijat).
During the days of Maghfirah, we must strive to obtain Allah (SWT)’s forgiveness. The first 10 days remind us that although we are sinners, Allah (SWT) still shows us mercy within every moment of our lives, from the air we breathe, to the health we enjoy.
If we are to obtain Jannah, we must first obtain the forgiveness of Allah (SWT). But how can we achieve this? Here are five tips that we can apply to our lives during and after Ramadan that will help us obtain forgiveness and bring us closer to our creator:
- Engage in sincere repentance: The first step to gaining forgiveness during Ramadan is to recognize your mistakes and seek sincere repentance from Allah (SWT). Repentance involves feeling remorseful for your actions and committing to making a positive change in your behaviour.
- Increase your Quranic recitation: Ramadan is a time to strengthen your relationship with Allah (SWT) and the best way to do so is by increasing your recitation of the Quran. Try to set a daily goal of reciting a certain number of pages or chapters of the Quran, and reflect on its meaning and teachings.
- Perform additional prayers: During Ramadan, Muslims are encouraged to perform extra prayers known as Taraweeh. These prayers offer a great opportunity to seek forgiveness and connect with Allah (SWT). Try to perform Taraweeh regularly and make sure to concentrate on your prayers and supplications. Other prayers include Salaah tul-Layl.
- Sadaqah and Zakat: Giving to charity is a fundamental aspect of Ramadan, and it is considered a way to gain forgiveness and blessings from Allah (SWT). Make an effort to donate to charitable causes regularly during the month, and try to help those who are less fortunate than you.
- Show kindness and forgiveness to others: Lastly, one of the best ways to gain forgiveness during Ramadan is to show kindness and forgiveness to others. Try to forgive those who have wronged you and be kind and compassionate towards others. These actions not only earn you rewards in the sight of Allah (SWT) but also help create a more harmonious and peaceful society.
Ramadan is not only a time where we try to gain closeness with Allah (SWT), but it is also a time where we find a deeper understanding of Allah (SWT)’s mercy and forgiveness. The definition of mercy is that when we wrong an individual, the individual has all the right to punish us, but chooses not to; Allah (SWT) is truly the most merciful.
Ya Allah (SWT) we are weak, we sin and yet you still give us all the opportunity to get closer to you, to recite your Book, to feed our brothers and sisters, to clothe them. Ya Allah (SWT), you allow us to breathe so that we are able to ask for forgiveness, the ability to speak and utter the words of your holy Book, as well as the opportunity to wake up every day as a Muslim.
Allah (SWT) Almighty says: "Whoever comes with a good deed will have the reward of ten like it and even more. Whoever comes with an evil deed will be recompensed for one evil deed like it or he will be forgiven. Whoever draws close to Me by the length of a hand, I will draw close to him by the length of an arm. Whoever draws close to Me by the length of an arm, I will draw close to him by the length of a fathom. Whoever comes to Me walking, I will come to him running. Whoever meets Me with enough sins to fill the earth, not associating any partners with Me, I will meet him with as much forgiveness.” [Source: Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2687]
May Allah (SWT) forgive us all, Ameen.